Western Plains Becomes High 5 for Mom & Baby!

September 14, 2018

Western Plains Becomes High 5 For Mom & Baby!

Western Plains Medical Complex is now a High 5 for Mom & Baby recognized facility. The hospital attained this status by integrating specific maternity care procedures based on the proven health benefits associated with breastfeeding and other key elements of bonding between mother and newborn. 

     The High 5 program -- initiated, funded, and provided at no charge to Kansas hospitals by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund -- is founded on key practices crucial for a successful breastfeeding experience. High 5 for Mom & Baby was developed by the Hutchinson-based Health Fund in conjunction with the Kansas Breastfeeding Workgroup. 

Award Presentation

     Of the 62 hospitals and birth centers around the state now having made a commitment to the High 5 program, Western Plains Medical Complex is the 42nd to qualify for the recognition. The four-year process undertaken by Western Plains’ Family Birth Center was coordinated through Ashley Smith, RN, CLC, along with Jennie Toland, RN, and Kelsie Smith, RN, CLC. 

      "It's very exciting to be a part of a program that highlights the importance of breastfeeding," said Ranae Riley, director of The Family Birth Center, "I'm very blessed to have an amazing team of ladies that worked together to get us here today."

The Five Best Practices & Benefits

     The five best practices comprising the High 5 for Mom & Baby standards are: assuring immediate, sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth; giving newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated; allowing “rooming in” so mothers and infants can remain together 24 hours a day; not giving pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants; and providing mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community. 


     Research indicates a link between not breastfeeding and increased health risks for a baby including high blood pressure, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies also show a definite correlation to childhood and adolescent obesity for those who were not breastfed. In addition, mothers derive health benefits. Those who breastfeed have a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

     More information about the High 5 program is available at www.High5Kansas.org